Who doesn’t love clowns?
Many, many people don’t love clowns, that’s who — at least the kind that terrorize an entire community as did Pennywise the clown from author Stephen King’s horror epic It.
A mystery clown has been popping up at night in various places in Staten Island, one of the boroughs in New York City. The sightings have been happening over the past couple of weeks and have left residents scared and wondering.
“OK, I’m a little freaked out right now,” wrote leavisisland on his Instagram account with a post of a photo of a clown smiling at him on a dark street. “I was driving home from Buffalo Wild Wings and saw this waving at me,” leavisisland wrote.
On social media, at least four Twitter accounts purporting to represent the Staten Island clown cropped up and people were tweeting their fears, using the hashtag — or search term — #statenislandclown.
“Stay safe everyone in Staten Island,” tweeted Andrew F, @jerseychief13.
Tweeted Danielle Nicole, @missdanielleee, “That clown will actually die if I cross paths with it.”
At one time, clowns were considered silly, innocuous beings who wore big floppy shoes, red noses and entertained little ones at the circus. But over the years, Stephen King and others began depicting them in movies and books as depraved killers hiding behind painted-on happy faces.
Reports in the Staten Island Advance and the New York Post indicate that the clown sightings could be a hoax tied to a film production company on Staten Island called Fuzz on the Lens Productions. Four of the men who posted photos on Instagram and Facebook of the clown creeping around Staten Island have ties to Fuzz on the Lens, the news organizations reported.
Fuzz on the Lens did not respond to queries sent via Facebook or Twitter, but the company did tweet, “Kinda insulted by all these #SIclown accusations.â€¦we’re not just a ‘horror film company.’ We’re funny tooâ€¦.I swear.”
The company’s Facebook page says, “Our mission is very simple, we want to entertain as many people as possible, in any way we can.”